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2015 Tesla Model X : Current Models

The Model X is Tesla’s follow-up vehicle to the award-winning Model S sedan. The X shares about 60 percent of the content from the sedan—converting the sleek Maserati-looking five-passenger model into a stylish crossover utility vehicle.

Styling

The Model X is Tesla’s follow-up vehicle to the award-winning Model S sedan. The X shares about 60 percent of the content from the sedan—converting the sleek Maserati-looking five-passenger model into a stylish crossover utility vehicle in the design spirit of the Acura ZDX or BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo.

Tesla wants to make cool cars that lure new waves of buyers to try an electric car. But it’s hard to make an SUV, with minivan-like qualities, look sexy. From certain angles, the X looks like a bulked-up taller S. That’s not a bad thing, considering the beautiful design DNA of the Tesla sedan—but the Model X is unlikely to be a head-turner like the Model S.

The Model X will have the same wheelbase as the S, and the car's length and width will be roughly the same as the Model S too. Naturally, it'll be taller and slightly (10 percent) less aerodynamic.

The most notable design strategy for dressing up the Tesla SUV is the use of double-hinged falcon doors, which rise up and over the top of the car—rather than either opening like a regular sport ute or employing sliding like doors on a minivan. Tesla says the falcon doors will give better access to the Model X’s third-row seats—although, at the end of the day, it seems to be more about snazzy looks than pure functionality. They do look very cool, but we won’t know how functional they are until put into daily use by everyday customers.

Performance

Despite having a larger and heavier body than the Model S, the powerful torque of an electric all-wheel drive system gives the Model X a similar level of performance. The SUV is expected to go from standstill to 60 mph in less than five seconds. That’s good enough to beat the fastest SUVs on the market, as well as many smaller sleeker sports cars.

Tesla bases its entire brand on a thrilling driving experience—overclocking the amount of power delivered to the wheels. You should expect the same from the Model X, even though its outward shape and overall versatility is expanded into an SUV.

Efficiency/Range

Because the Model X weighs about 10 percent more than its predecessor sedan, the SUV will provide roughly 10 percent less range from its battery pack. That means somewhere between about 170 to 230 miles of real-world range, depending on use of either the 60 or 85 kilowatt-hour pack.

It’s too early for federal agencies to pinpoint estimated range, or for Tesla to make specific promises.

Charging

Tesla offers the most elegant and powerful charging system in the marketplace. It uses a 10 kW charger—a step above the 6.6 kilowatts commonly found in today’s electric cars. This means the Model X should be able to add 30 or more miles of range per hour of charging from a 240-volt source.

The big battery pack used in the Model X—as well as the Model S—makes this faster rate very useful for recharging all the way to full. Drivers will find they have plenty of energy reserves on a daily basis for common driving (regardless of charging rate).

Never content to offer just the best—rather than the crazy over-the-top absolute best—Tesla also offers a twin-charger that doubles the power rating to 20 kilowatts when combined with adequate amperage from home electricity service and Tesla’s High Power Wall Connector. In this configuration, you could pump in 60 or more miles of range in an hour of charging.

These scenarios all refer to home charging. But the cherry on top of the EV ice cream sundae is the free use of the Tesla Supercharger network, which enables all-electric road trips. The network—consisting of strategically placed 120-kW rapid chargers that can add as much as 170 miles of range in just 30 minutes—is a stroke of genius by Tesla.

According to the company, in 2014 about 80 percent of the US population has ready access to the Supercharger network; and in 2015, that coverage will increase to 98 percent.

Passenger/Cargo Room

The Model X is likely to redefine the amount of space and passenger comfort available from a long-range electric vehicle. All versions come standard with third-row seating.

Here’s where those dramatic falcon doors come in handy. Tesla chief Elon Musk said the unique doors make stepping in and out of the Model X easier than a minivan, even in the third-row. (Based on watching videos of people entering and exiting the car, that matter is still up for debate.) “You can get in and out in the tightest garage or parking spot without hitting the wall or the car next to you, or your head,” said Musk.

Now, combine the cool pop-up doors and third-row seating with the availability of two trunks—one in front and one in back, like the Model S. “Because it is an electric car, and we don’t have to package a traditional internal combustion engine powertrain, we have available to us much more packaging opportunities,” said Musk. At the same time, the vehicle can comfortably seat seven. Musk called the Model X “the killer app for families.”

In terms of interior look and feel, the Model X will borrow from the Model S, with a large, 17-inch touch-screen center console. It has a light, sporty and somewhat sparse interior—rather than a plush feel found in family cruisers from luxury brands.

Safety

Tesla asserts that its sedan has “the best safety track record of any vehicle in the world.” We expect the same level of attention to safety on the Model X.

NHTSA awarded the Model S with five stars, its highest rating, across the board for all crash and rollover tests. The Model S utilizes a full arsenal of safety technologies, including eight airbags, four-wheel ABS and disc brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control.

Federal agencies have not yet tested the Model X.

Price

Despite the fact that final pricing has not been announced, Tesla has been accepting $5,000 deposits for reservations since it was first unveiled. Specs and price for the Tesla Model X are expected to roughly align with those of the Model S.

Prices for the Model S sedan include a 60-kilowatt-hour version for $69,900 and an 85-kilowatt-hour model for $79,900. Many buyers are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Comparisons of Similar Cars

The Model X will break new ground when it comes to utility and space in a luxury all-electric model. The Toyota RAV4 EV, already reaching the end of its production, utilizes a Tesla powertrain—but that model is far from luxury, and not nearly as fast or spacious as the Model X. (It’s also a lot cheaper, and can be viewed as the last expensive way to enjoy Tesla technology.)

There has been speculation about a plug-in hybrid version of the Audi Q8 luxury crossover—maybe hitting the market as early as 2017. But those plans could change anytime or never materialize at all. The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, while promised as soon as 2015, should be considered of much lesser quality, and equally speculative.

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Sources : Tesla Model X Photo | Tesla Model X Article

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